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You are exactly correctYou are exactly correct regarding the Summer Solstice, and are apparently one of the few who really "gets" that it falls in the middle of Summer, and is not by any means when Summer "starts". (Even this site has yet to get it right, and they should be the ones to show all the other almanacs what is right, all things considered.) As in the case of the Vernal Equinox, and considering the fact that those of us in the 21st century have, to a very large degree, completely lost touch with our agrarian roots and often misunderstand or misinterpret the seasonal cycles, many tend to confuse the Solstices with the start of the seasons. Actually, the Solstices mark the middle or high point (Summer) and low point (Winter) of light and darkness. WS is the shortest point of daylight hours in the year and SS is the point of longest light, the apex of the Summer season, which actually begins on the first of May, just as Winter begins on the first of November. As in the case of the Vernal Equinox, these are dates are based on the astronomical movements of the Earth and planets, so the weather may not seem in accordance with the true beginning of the season. I agree with you in that the Vernal Equinox may yet be cold and snowy, or even icy, and that it may not feel like Spring until up in April. The astronomical model offers us a well regulated system by which to mark the seasonal changes, while the local weather patterns bring the seasons home at different times for different places. I'm really not sure about where you get the notion that astronomy is not scientific, or that the ancients did not observe the astronomical Solstice (if you read up on it, Stonehenge serves as a calendar of sorts, and is amazingly accurate at marking the Summer Solstice due to its' design). Alas, everyone has an opinion, and you are more than welcome to follow your own.

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